Archive for Justin

Feeling Stupid

I’m currently in one of my states that I don’t enjoy. I’m usually very happy and content. As long as progress is being made, I’m good. Occasionally though, I feel stupid. I feel that I’m not smart enough.

For most people, this probably doesn’t bother them. For me, it kind of stops me in my tracks. I feel that I should be doing better, that I’m not far enough. It feeds right into my insecurities. I start to wonder “What do I have to offer?” And in my worst moments, I answer with “Nothing.”

I’m always trying to learn, even if I don’t ever plan on using it. It’s my way of keeping this nagging doubt at bay. Lately though, I’ve hit a rut. I’ve been working, coming home, having dinner and going to bed just to repeat it the next day. The routine doesn’t bother me. I just need more substance. I need people I click with. I need to find something new. I need to find something to learn.

I know when all of this started too. I remember it vividly. I was young, in kindergarten. I was angry about something that I won’t go into. I made a mistake and was ridiculed relentlessly for it. From that day forward, I’ve always tried my hardest to never let that happen again.

I may not be able to recall everything immediately but I do remember 80% of everything I’ve learned. That sounds kind of low. But with everything I’ve done, that’s still a lot.

The only way out of this state of mind is for me to find something to learn. I’ll start that soon and everything will be better.

A Fresh Start

It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything with this site. I’m thinking about changing that again. Things have really started looking up for me recently. I got a job doing what I enjoy. I moved out again. My confidence in myself is building again.

It’s time for a fresh start. I’m still looking for a better paying job but I won’t let that keep me from starting now. I want to start getting into shape. I vowed to lose 100 pounds this year. I don’t think I’ll be able to hit that mark but I’ll try pretty damn hard to get as close as I can. I’m going to get my first car soon. It will probably be junk but it will be mine.

I’m ready to get things going again. Things are falling into place and now I have the launch that I need to make things happen. Keep checking back for more stuff as I move forward. It will be nice having a place to document the things I’m going through.

Bullying

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I was bullied as a child. I was, and still am, fat. I hate seeing people just give up because they think people hate them. I thought everyone hated me. Day in and day out, I was picked on. It started in elementary school and went on all the way through high school. Why didn’t I give up? I knew I was better than that. I took the pain and frustration and set out to make myself better than the people that were mean to me. One of the bullies I had ended up in prison. I run my own business, teach myself new skills almost daily and am happy with life in general. My current situation may be less than I want but at least I’m happy with myself and treat people kindly.

I’ve never really spoken out against bullying because, quite frankly, I’d lived through it and think that everyone else can too. To put it bluntly, if you’re being bullied and are thinking about giving up on life, suck it up. They don’t make you pick suicide. You do. Turn their negativity into motivation to make your life better. If you can’t find a way to do that, ask for help. There are always people around to help you get things figured out.

Some Changes Are A’comin’

Since this is MY blog, I decided that I needed to make it more about me. I’ll continue writing the other types of things that are showcased here but I came to the realization that this was pretty impersonal for a personal blog. Stuff like the post about religion won’t be common but I figured that it would be nice to shed a little light on me personally. I always have stuff going through my head but never write about them. I’m going to start making that change now.

Why I See Religion The Way I Do

Religion is one of those hot button topics that usually ends up turning into a long heated discussion of who is right. That’s why I don’t talk about it with most people, people that can’t accept that I see things differently than they do. That number is surprisingly high. Lately though, I see a lot of people saying more and more increasingly insulting things, whether it’s intended or not, about other points of view. The point of this isn’t to call anyone out. It’s more of a way for me to share the way I see things.

Religion is a personal choice. You choose a religion that makes sense to you. Some people just choose to follow what they grew up with because it’s what they know. There’s nothing wrong with how or why you choose one over another. The problem, to me, is when you treat people differently because you find out they don’t believe in your version of holy text or deity. One of the major principles of many religions is to treat people in the way you want them to treat you. If you’re hostile toward them, they’ll more than likely be hostile toward you. If you treat them as you’d treat someone in your religion, they’ll treat you the same way.

I tend to keep my views to myself. I’m not even sure that my family knows what they are so I’ll give you a little look into my past. I grew up in a home that, when we actually went to church, was Baptist. I had a mother, a father, two brothers and a sister. I had the normal struggles of the middle child that was separated from his older sister and younger brother by three years each. I didn’t hate going to church until later in my life. Even though I was a child, I understood enough about our religion to know that something wasn’t quite right. I was surrounded by a lot of adultery and divorce. Things that were, at least I thought so at the time, looked down upon in the church. Shortly after this realization, we moved.

For reasons unknown, we stopped going to church after that. I was okay with that. I never really thought about religion for quite some time after that until my parents decided to get divorced. I’m not going to go into what happened with that because it doesn’t matter. It was sudden to me. I had trouble dealing with it. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. I remember, quite vividly, an attempt to help me understand that it wasn’t my fault. We went to some kind of child therapy place. The person leading the session went on and on about how it was my parents’ decision and that it didn’t change how they felt about us. There were some strong religious undertones to it and that’s fine because I’m sure it helps people. It didn’t help me though. Life went on. I grew to understand what was going on and moved on with my life.

My mom got remarried. They started going to church. It was a Baptist church. I didn’t really like going but I went because my mom asked me to go. It’s still that way today. It’s just not as frequent. As a child, I sat and watched what was going on. I listened to the people. I watched what they did. I saw a lot of the same things I saw at the first church I went to. I was still a kid so I just attributed it to something adults do. I continued to go for a few more years. I never really grew to care for it very much. I figured that I didn’t need a group of people to agree with me for me to have faith in something. Having someone telling me what I was able to read myself was too much like school.

When I graduated high school and went off to college, I was thrown into a new world. Before then, I’d never really been exposed to religions outside the realms of Christianity and┬áCatholicism. It was definitely an eye-opening experience. I met Buddhists, Muslims, Mormons, Jews, Wiccans and pretty much any other religions, or lack of religion, that you can think of. I would talk to them about their religions. I liked learning about them. I still do. I’ll even go as far as going to worship with people. I do have one rule though. I won’t take part in rituals that tie me directly to a religion. That means no communion, no baptism, no confession, anything like that. I respect their religions too much to make them waste their time on someone that isn’t a follower.

That pretty much covers everything up until the present. I have a very small group of people that I’m actually open with about my views. Each of them has a different view on it from everyone else. We can actually have discussions about it. Sometimes it gets heated but we always end up leaving the situation feeling pretty good.

Now comes the part of this post that makes me hesitate a little. There will be people that don’t understand so I’m going to explain as best as I can. When people ask me what my religion is, so I don’t have to explain to people that don’t care to listen, I say I’m an atheist. That’s only partially true. It’s true that I don’t hold belief in a religion that believes in a deity. I’m actually an agnostic atheist. I don’t believe in a deity but I don’t have a stance on whether one, or more, exists or not. Both of the words used to describe my views are tinted with a hue of misunderstanding by the religious community. While it’s true that some atheists and agnostics are, to put it bluntly, asshats, not all of us are. It works the same way with Christianity. Not all Christians, in any of the facets, are like the KKK. It’s a small group that overshadows the rest in some cases. It works the same way with us. I don’t dislike anyone because of their religion. I do, however, dislike people that use their religion as an excuse for treating people like garbage.

That’s the best I can explain it, I think. If you want to talk to me about anything in here, feel free to ask me about it. It can either be in the comments below or in another form that is more private. I enjoy talking about it as long as the person asking is actually listening and not just trying to make me change my mind. It hasn’t happened in the last 7 years. It isn’t going to happen now.